A family says Tesla is to blame for the death of their son because the vehicle’s batteries caught fire during a crash. See details of the parents’ claim below.
Dramatic video captured the moment that a Hard Rock Hotel partially collapsed in New Orleans.
And the number of people with vaping-related lung injuries continues to rise, as officials warn that the illnesses could lead to repeat hospitalizations.
Here’s what you need to know in the daily roundup.
TOP STORY: Parents Say Tesla Batteries Were to Blame For a Fiery Crash That Killed Their Son
The parents of a Florida teenager say Tesla is responsible for a crash that killed their son in May of 2018. Barrett Riley was driving his father’s 2014 Model S Tesla when he lost control and slammed into a wall. One of the passengers, Edgar Monserrat, was also killed. A third passenger was thrown from the vehicle and survived.
Investigators said Riley was speeding at 116 miles per hour when the crash occurred. Two months before the deadly crash, Riley’s parents went to their local Tesla leadership and had a speed limiter installed in the vehicle that would have prevented any driver from going above 85 miles per hour after Riley got a speeding ticket.
Riley’s parents have filed a lawsuit against Tesla for negligence in part because the speed limiter had been removed from the vehicle without the parents’ knowledge. The lawsuit explains, “If the speed limiter had remained in place as the Rileys instructed, the accident never would have happened, and Barrett Riley would be alive today.”
The lawsuit also alleges that Barrett Riley and his friend died as a result of the fire that sparked after hitting the wall. The lawsuit notes that Riley did not suffer any bodily injuries from the crash itself and that the accident was survivable. Riley’s parents say that Tesla’s batteries are what caused his deaths, alleging in the lawsuit that “he was killed by the extraordinarily hot and intense fire that started in the vehicle’s
lithium-ion battery cells. That fire occurred because the Model S contained design defects in its lithium-ion batteries and battery packs.”
Tesla executives argued in a statement earlier in 2019, “no car could have withstood a high-speed crash of this kind.”
WHAT WE’VE BEEN WATCHING: Vaping-Related Illnesses May Lead to Repeat Hospitalizations
The number of people with severe lung illnesses related to vaping continues to rise. The Centers for Disease Control says that nearly 1,300 patients have been identified nationwide and 26 people have died.
Officials say the patients’ ages are a particular cause for concern: 80 percent are under age 35. All of the patients have reported using e-cigarettes or other vaping products that contained THC. Researchers suspect that exposure to a chemical is causing the illnesses, but they have yet to identify a common chemical causing lung injuries.
The CDC now also says that the patients are at risk for additional health problems even after they recover. Dr. Anne Schuchat, the principal deputy director of the CDC, told reporters that the agency knows of a “handful” of patients who have struggled to fully recover after suffering from a vaping-related lung injury and have been readmitted to hospitals. “It may be that the lung injury weakens the lungs to other insults, whether they’re infectious or otherwise.”
OFF-BEAT: Crane Collapse at Hard Rock Hotel In New Orleans Was Caught on Camera
Two people were killed on Saturday after the Hard Rock Hotel partially collapsed onto Canal Street in New Orleans. The site is under construction and the cause of the collapse was not immediately known.
A witness recorded the moment that the top floors gave way, seemingly without warning. Large pieces of debris fell onto the street and a crane was seen toppling over as well. Workers are seen running to safety below.
City officials confirmed late Saturday night that two victims had been confirmed dead. As of early Sunday morning, officials believed that another person may still be trapped in the rubble. More than a dozen others were treated at hospitals for injuries.
The mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, urged residents to stay away from the scene amid recovery efforts. She said in a statement that the “collapse was a tragedy, and our hearts break for the loss of life. Our focus is on continuing to secure the site and to doing everything we can to support the families impacted as rescue efforts continue.”
The Hard Rock Hotel was initially scheduled to open in the spring of 2020. The lot used to be the home of a Woolworth’s store until the building was demolished in 2014.
DAILY NEWS ROUNDUP
- Atatiana Jefferson was shot and killed through her bedroom window by a police officer in Fort Worth, Texas.
- Missing tech entrepreneur Erin Valenti was reportedly found dead in San Jose.
- A bride and the bishop were injured when a gunman opened fire in a New Hampshire church on Saturday. Dale Holloway has been charged with first-degree assault.
- At least 11 people were injured when a vehicle crashed into a hayride wagon near Chicago, Illinois.
- Actor Jared Padalecki will star in a reboot of Walker, Texas Ranger.
CHECK THIS OUT
Fans of the iconic 90s sitcom Friends are familiar with the fountain that the six actors splashed around in for the opening credits. The fountain was featured in every single opening during the show’s 10-year run.
Friends took place in New York City, but the sitcom was primarily filmed in Burbank, California. And recently, many fans have been expressing surprise online that the fountain was actually located on a Warner Bros. lot in Hollywood, and that it was the same fountain used in the 1993 classic Halloween hit Hocus Pocus.
Did you ever notice that? For Friends, the NYC skyline was edited into the background. For Hocus Focus, additional foliage was added to make it look like autumn in New England.
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